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“The whole world is a marketplace for Love,
For naught that is, from Love remains remote.
The Eternal Wisdom made all things in Love.
On Love they all depend, to Love all turn.
The earth, the heavens, the sun, the moon, the stars
The center of their orbit find in Love.
By Love are all bewildered, stupefied,
Intoxicated by the Wine of Love.
From each, Love demands a mystic silence.
What do all seek so earnestly? ‘Tis Love.
Love is the subject of their inmost thoughts,
In Love no longer “Thou” and “I” exist,
For self has passed away in the Beloved.
Now will I draw aside the veil from Love,
And in the temple of mine inmost soul
Behold the Friend, Incomparable Love.
He who would know the secret of both worlds
Will find that the secret of them both is Love.”
~ Farid Ud Din Attar (may Allah be pleased with him)
I’ve recently been introduced to Nur al-Din ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Ahmad al-Jami, more often known as “Jami”, who was one of the greatest Persian and Sufi poets in the 15th century. I haven’t read much of his writings just yet, but having read the following, I think his poetry is something I might quite enjoy!
“Hidden behind the veil of mystery, Beauty is eternally free from the slightest stain of imperfection. From the atoms of the world, He created a multitude of mirrors; into each one of them He cast the image of His Face; to the awakened eye, anything that appears beautiful is only a reflection of that Face.
Now that you have seen the reflection, hurry to its Source; in that primordial Light the reflection vanishes completely. Do not linger far from that primal Source; when the reflection fades, you will be lost in darkness. The reflection is as transient as the smile of a rose; if you want permanence, turn towards the Source; if you want fidelity, look to the Mine of faithfulness. Why tear your soul apart over something here one moment and gone the next? “
~ Jami, translation by Andrew Harvey and Eryk Hanut – ‘Perfume of the Desert’
“Oh my heart,
Don’t become discouraged so easily.
In the hidden world, there are many mysteries,
Even if the whole planet threatens your life,
don’t let go of the Beloved’s robe
for even a breath.”
Sayyidah Rabi’a al-’Adawiyyah (may Allah be pleased with her and elevate her rank) was an incredible figure in Islamic spirituality. Her love for the Divine and poetry is truly captivating. Thought I’d share some of her amazing poetry here, as she is a great inspiration for many of us no doubt.
” O God the stars are shining;
All eyes have closed in sleep;
The kings have locked their doors,
Each lover is alone, in secret, with the one he loves,
And I am here too; alone, hidden from all of them – With You”
“The true knower looks for a heart that comes from God alone.
As soon as it is given to him, he gives it back again
So that God can hold it hidden in His Mystery,
Safe from the tampering of human hands”
“Your hope in my heart is the rarest treasure
Your Name on my tongue is the sweetest word
My choicest hours
Are the hours I spend with You –
O Allah, I can’t live in this world
Without remembering You–
How can I endure the next world
Without seeing Your face?
I am a stranger in Your country
And lonely among Your worshippers:
This is the substance of my complaint.”
“In love, nothing exists between heart and heart.
Speech is born out of longing,
True description from the real taste.
The one who tastes, knows;
the one who explains, lies.
How can you describe the true form of Something
In whose presence you are blotted out?
And in whose being you still exist?
And who lives as a sign for your journey?”
“Let me hide in You
From everything that distracts me from You,
From everything that comes in my way
When I want to run to You.”
Subhan’Allah, may we aspire to be like Sayyida Rabi’a and follow in her footsteps by increasing our devotion and love for the Divine!
I was going through my journal (I basically keep a book where I jot down any gems, words of wisdom, profound quotes/stories etc I pick up from influential writers, scholars, poets etc) and came across some points I had noted whilst listening to one of Shaykh Husain Abdul Sattar (may Allah preserve him) lectures a few years ago. I thought I’d share the points here as it’s something which I’ve been currently reflecting on.
The noble Shaykh begins the talk quoting the following verse from the Qur’an al-Karim:
In Allaha ma’a al-sabireen (Verily Allah is with those who have sabr).
The Shaykh talks about the people of Sabr (patience). He mentions that there are three types of patience that a person who believes in Allah ta’ala exhibits; and when they exhibit all three types of patience, irrespective of the situation that they face, that is when the truest meaning of the verse (In Allaha ma’a al-sabireen ) comes within their lives.
Types of patience:
1. Sabr on the good deeds that we do. If we are doing good deeds for the sake of Allah ta’ala, we need to be patient on the deed itself, and be regular in how we do it. We find this in the Sunnah of the Prophet sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam; if he sallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasalam prayed a particular prayer, he would continue with that and not give it up. The Shaykh advised that we must be careful in what we add to our schedule; once we add it, we need to be consistent and keep up with it until we meet our Lord ta’ala.
2. Once we have implemented a certain deed and have added it to our schedule, we continue and wait patiently for its effect. For example, if we decide to do tasbi after Fajir, we must be patient with the results of it.
3. We must have Sabr when Allah ta’ala bestows a difficult situation on us, and that we are content with it. We shouldn’t complain, instead realise that the difficulties that undergo in this world are to purify us. We cannot worship all the time or stay away from so much sin; however if we remain patient, Allah ta’ala draws us closer to Him!
Overall, we must remember that whatever we are going through is from Allah ta’ala. Permanent difficulty is distance from Allah ta’ala, and that is what we have to complain about! Thank Allah ta’ala for the difficulties, and know that Allah ta’ala is with the people who have Sabr!
The above is just food for thought and reflection for myself (first and foremost.), and may it benefit all those who read this blog entry, inshaAllah ta’ala. Please note that these are just some of the points which I made whilst listening to the lecture, therefore please do not take them as direct quotes from the Shaykh- I’ve paraphrased! I would strongly recommend listening to the actual lecture which can be found here.
A beautiful thought shared by our beloved teacher Imam Zaid Shakir on the Rihla in 2006:
“Within us all there lies the potential to realize our dream. However, within only a few of us there lies the courage to realize our potential”
~ Imam Zaid Shakir
(8th July, 2006, Madinah)
A few of my favourite quotes by the great Shaykh (May Allah elevate his rank and be well pleased with him)
“Whoever is truthful in something and pursues it diligently will obtain it sooner or later; if he does not obtain it in this world, he will obtain it in the next; and whoever dies before victory shall be elevated to the level of his diligence.”
“If you find it complicated to answer someone’s question, do not answer it, for his container is already full and does not have room for the answer”
“The ignorant one does not see his ignorance as he basks in its darkness; nor does the knowledgeable one see his own knowledge, for he basks in its light”